Draft Minutes



Present: Cllrs Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); Mr G Davies (Vice-Chair); Mr R Williams; Mr P Wargent;
Mr M Wilson; Mr D Forrest; Mrs L Hoppe and Mrs J Karayiannis

In attendance: Mrs E Thomas (Clerk) and Mr D Greenow (Ward Councillor)

Public: None

1. To receive apologies for absence
Cllrs Mr S Garner; Mrs F Matthews and Mr N Shore – It was RESOLVED to accept that Cllr S Garner would be often absent due to his work. This would change in the coming year.

2. To receive declarations of interest and applications for dispensations
Item 3: Cllr Wilson – named member – NDPI
Items 7.4.5 and 8: Cllr Wilson – Secretary to the PCC – NDPI
Item 9: Cllr Williams – Member of Cricket Club PFA – NDPI

3. To adopt the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 12 Sept 2017 and the extra-ordinary Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 26th September 2017.
It was RESOLVED to amend the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 12 September 2017. They were then adopted and signed.

It was RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meeting held on 26th September 2017. They were adopted and signed.

4. To receive brief verbal reports from:
4.1 District Councillor
Cllr Greenow reported on why so many roadworks had been completed at once on the roads around Hereford. This was due to the timing of the grant (£5 million) and the need to finish the works before the cold weather set in.

There were also several issues noted concerning gullies and street lights. These are reviewed within a predetermined cycle and Cllr. Greenow will find out our current position in that cycle.

Cllr Greenow apologised for his absence at meetings over the recent months. This was due to bad health. The Council thanked him for attending and for his support and wished him well.

4.2 Local Police Officer
None present.

5. Open Time
5.1 To note matters raised by local residents relevant to the Parish

6. Planning
6.1 To receive a verbal report from the Planning Committee
Cllr Davies REPORTED that planning had been relatively quiet recently.

6.2 To note the minutes of the Planning Committee dated 12 Sept and 31st Oct 2017
The minutes were NOTED

6.3 To consider the proposed amendment for Planning Committee Terms of Reference.
It was RESOLVED to amend the Planning Committee Terms of Reference to include – “In the event of a meeting not being quorate, the Chair of the Parish Council can act as an ex-officio member of the Planning Committee, with voting and decision-making powers” – at the end of section 1.

6.4 To consider the reserve matters application associated with the Crest Nicholson Development on land to the south of the A438.
The proposed planning layout – interim draft for comment was discussed.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk respond to Crest Nicholson with the following comments:

– Although there were a high number of 4 bed houses in the development, the amount of affordable housing was approved of.
– The amount of parking and garages was approved of.
– It was felt there should be some single-storey dwellings included.
– All the properties running alongside the A438 should face the road.
– The present hedgerow running alongside the A438 should be retained and the footpath lie inside it.
– There should only be one access way during construction to minimise disruption – ideally the main access entrance only.
– What did the small “B” in a box near the road stand for?
– The Attenuation area should ideally be fenced off.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Greenow would question Ed Thomas about the hedgerow removal.

It was RESOLVED that the Council would make further comment when the planning application came through.

6.5 To consider whether the PC wish to see the extension to Traherne Close lit or unlit.
It was RESOLVED that the extension to Traherne Close should be unlit.

7. Financial Matters
7.1 To receive a report and financial statement from the RFO
The Clerk REPORTED that there had been very little change in the finances of the Council since the September meeting as all the documents had been with the auditors.

She REPORTED that the bank balances were as follows:
Business Premium Account: £28,941.50
Current Account: £30,609.92

The Clerk REPORTED that in future the finance report format would be changed to include the bank reconciliation; YTD spend and budget monitoring on one report. This would allow the Council to monitor the finances more effectively. This report, alongside the bank statement would be signed at each meeting and included with the minutes thereafter to prove this on-going monitoring process. Finances committed and unallocated would also be clearly noted on this report. It was AGREED to move forward with this.

7.2 To receive the bi-annual audit and March 2017 audit findings
The Clerk REPORTED on the findings of the end of year audit in March – Appendix 1. The lack of monitoring of budget within the minutes was NOTED. The Clerk REPORTED that the new finance report mentioned in item 7.1 should address these issues moving forward.

The Clerk REPORTED that the Notice of Conclusion of Audit had been put up as required by The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

The Clerk REPORTED that the mid-year audit had been completed – Appendix 2. The key area for concern was the lack of evidence of budget monitoring by the Council. As above, the new finance report should address this. The Clerk explained to Cllrs what S137 monies were and that this would be more easily seen in the new report. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should check that fidelity insurance is in place as per audit finding R.4.3 and report back at the next meeting.

Councillors ACCEPTED the above reports on both audits.

7.3 To note bi-monthly audit check by Cllr J Karayiannis
The bi-monthly audit check had not taken place as the finance papers had been with the auditors until 10th November. It was NOTED that no new finance transactions had taken place since the last meeting due to this. The audit check would be resumed in time for the next meeting.

7.4 To approve invoices for payment
7.4.1 Clerks Salary
7.4.2 Clerks expenses £93.45 plus annual home allowance
7.4.3 Outgoing Clerk’s final salary
7.4.4 HALC recruitment service and completion of internal audit £540
7.4.5 Memsafe – memorial testing St Peters Church £252
7.4.6 Secure-a-field Metal Gateway for PRoW LU5 £250.80
7.4.7 Daniel Squire – Grounds Maintenance Burial Ground Oct £360
7.4.8 Daniel Squire – Grounds maintenance Village Hall Oct £360
7.4.9 Daniel Squire – Grounds maintenance Play area Oct £108
7.4.10 Daniel Squire – Grounds maintenance Bartestree Cross Oct £84
7.4.11 Daniel Squire – Burial Grounds August £240
7.4.12 Daniel Squire – Bartestree Cross August £84
7.4.13 Daniel Squire – Hedge cutting £348
7.4.14 Daniel Squire – Grounds Maintenance May Play Area £72
7.4.15 Daniel Squire – Grounds Maintenance May Bartestree Cross £42
7.4.16 Daniel Squire – To receive a credit note £30
7.4.17 Mr. R. Francis – 8 x weekly play area checks – Sept/Oct £40
7.4.18 Wendy Soilleux – McAfee Internet Security package £14.99
7.4.19 Grant Thornton – 2017 Annual Return £240

It was RESOLVED to pay all the above invoices. The cheques were signed. Item 7.4.16 was NOT ACCEPTED as the Clerk did not believe a credit note was due. It was RESOLVED that the clerk would contact Daniel Squire to rectify the error on the account.

7.5 To consider spend against budget
The Clerk REPORTED that YTD spend was £11,116.02. Unless the Council spending was weighted to the end of the year the clerk REPORTED that it was likely the Council would under-spend against total budget by the year end.

7.5.1 To approve the overspend, agreed on 11th July 2017 minute 14.3.
The overspend was approved and the cheque for the invoice to Balfour Beatty for £1275.07 was signed. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would advise which cost code this overspend should sit against at the next meeting.

7.5.2 To consider how to record figures for Lengthsman and P3 schemes.
The Clerk REPORTED that both LM and P3 grants should be entered on the budget as income. The total amount of expected spend for each should also be budgeted for under expenditure. Because this had not happened in previous budgets the P3 cost code is showing an overspend of £606.50. In reality this is not an over-spend. This would be rectified in future budget setting.

7.6 To sign the Clerks contract of employment
It was RESOLVED to sign the contract of employment. The Clerk and Chair signed two copies – one to be held by the Clerk and one by the Chair on behalf of the Council.

7.7 To consider moving the website to the HALC server – £50 pa.
The clerk REPORTED that the website and emails had to be moved to the new HALC server because there was not enough storage in the inbox and emails had stopped working. The £50 cost had been quoted in error by the Councils website support. As no costs were involved the transfer to the new server had already taken place and both emails and website were working once more.

7.8 To set up a Finance Working Group to prepare a draft budget and precept for 2018-19
It was RESOLVED to set up a working group to prepare a draft budget and precept. Cllrs Williams, Wilson and Soilleux will form this working group – with the clerk in attendance. It was RESOLVED they should meet before the next meeting so the budget could be approved in January.

8. To consider response from Herefordshire Council regarding the St Peter’s Church closed burial ground transfer of maintenance.
It was REPORTED that following the memorial and tree reports being completed for the burial ground – and any recommended works completed – Hereford Council had taken on the maintenance of the burial ground from here on. It was RESOLVED that any further correspondence from Hereford Council should be directed to Cllr Mike Wilson in his capacity as Secretary of the PCC and no longer involve the Parish Council.

9. Gifted Field:
9.1 To consider whether or not to accept topsoil on to the proposed gifted field.
It was RESOLVED not to accept any further topsoil onto the gifted field unless it was deemed necessary at some point in the future.

9.2 To receive an update from the GFCTF (Gifted Field Community Task Force).
It was REPORTED that the group continues to meet monthly. A condition of the field being gifted was that its future use included a football and cricket pitch. It was AGREED that it would be nice to include as many interests as possible within the area – perhaps by merging other areas within the parish into a global scheme.

9.3 To consider the appointment of a solicitor to deal with the conveyance of the gifted field to the Parish Council.
It was REPORTED that quotes from two solicitors had been obtained in preparation for when one was needed to deal with the conveyance of the gifted field. It was RESOLVED that two more quotes (one out of county) would be sought to ensure “best value” was being sought. Cllr Soilleux AGREED to get two more quotes in preparation for the meeting in January. Whilst looking at solicitors it was RESOLVED that the clerk should familiarise herself with the documents being held by solicitors on the Councils behalf and perhaps look at consolidating them with one solicitor. This was AGREED to be an agenda item in January.

9.4 To agree to proceed with the conveyance when appropriate.
This item was DEFERRED until the next meeting.

10. Footpaths and Trees
10.1 To Receive a Report from the Footpaths and Trees Officer
– It was REPORTED that James Bissett, Principal Countryside Officer was preparing a case to prosecute the resident of Threepenny Bit Cottage, Lugwardine.

– The metal gate had been installed on LU5 and was working successfully in preventing children from running straight onto the roadway. It was RESOLVED that Cllr Williams would contact the school to assist with the design of a sign to go on the gate reminding children to slow down. Cllr Soilleux was thanked for her hard work in seeing the gate installed.

– The gate on LU23 is in a state of disrepair and the clerk had been contacted to arrange replacement in due course.

10.2 To consider Public Path Diversion order – Footpath BJ2 (Part) Bartestree
It was RESOLVED that the Council would support this diversion.

10.3 To receive update on gate for PRoW LU5
See item 10.1 above

11. Highways
11.1 To consider the condition of the A438 through the village.
It had been noted that little of the £5 million highway grant had been spent on the A438 which receives a similer amount of traffic on a daily basis as the A4103. Cllr Williams would continue chasing Barry Dirkin for an update on road improvements as the section of road between the New Inn and the bottom of the hill was particulary worn. The Council thanked Cllr Williams for his time on this issue.

12. Village Hall
12.1 To receive any updates from the Village Hall Representatives
It was REPORTED that a wine-tasting event had taken place at the weekend – raising £1634 profit for the hall. The AGM had recently taken place. It was RESOLVED to forward the minutes of this AGM to the Council.

13. To receive any updates from the Playing Fields Association Representative
It was REPORTED that the AGM had been held recently. The management Committee was largely staying the same. It was RESOLVED to send the minutes of the AGM to the Council. It was also REPORTED that the cricket pitch was being “put to bed” for the winter.

14. Lengthsman
14.1 To Consider work done/required under the Lengthsman Scheme
It was RESOLVED to ask the lengthsman, Michael Dyer, to do his annual survey of the ditches in the parishes and undertake any clearing necessary.

15. Play Areas
15.1 To consider a means of consultation regarding the proposed play area improvements with the residents of Frome Park and pupils at Lugwardine Primary Academy and their parents.
It was NOTED that funds in the region of £68,000 would be made available to improve and add equipment to the play area of Frome Park and at the Village Hall. It was RESOLVED that the Council should put up a flyer in the Primary School, Gateway Nursery, the Village Hall, The Pavilion and the Parish Magazine asking for comments on the type of improvements people would like to see in this area. It was stressed that these areas are for the use of all young people in the parishes.

16. Bus Shelters
16.1 To receive an update
It was REPORTED that Hereford Council had confirmed which bus shelters the Parish Council owned – Appendix 3. The Council were waiting on S106 money before replacing the shelters at Bartestree Crossroads and Hagley. It was RESOLVED that these are discussed under Reserve Matters when they arise.

It was REPORTED that the bus shelter cleaning had taken place as approved in minute 16.1 on the 12th September 2017. The cheque for the invoice for £60 from Mr A Howells was approved and signed.

17. To consider a general rubbish bin in Wilcroft Park
It was RESOLVED that, regretfully, due to ongoing costs, the Council would not place a bin in Wilcroft Park.

18. To consider adopting an Equality Policy
It was RESOLVED that this would be deferred to the January meeting when either the new HALC recommended policy or another suitable policy would be approved.

19. To Note the Information Sheet
The November 2017 information sheet was NOTED – Appendix

20. To Receive Questions from Councillors (tabled 7 days prior to Meeting)


21. To Raise Items for the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting [no discussion] 1. Bus layby opposite Malvern View.
2. Primary School after-school club walk to Gateway Nursery.
3. Planning update on Summer House window.
4. Parking outside of the schools at drop-off and pick-up times.

22. To Note the Date and Time of the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting – 9th January 2018

Appendix 1 Annual Audit return 2016-17

Appendix 2 – Mid Year Internal Audit Report 2017-18

Appendix 3 – Bus Shelters

Appendix 4 – Information Sheet November 2017